AGILE ADDIE with Rapid Prototyping

What was my favorite quote of ASTD ICE 2012?
ADDIE is what we do, and AGILE is how we do it*
My head has been spinning in the last few weeks as I try to superimpose new learning models on top of what I have experienced while working in other environments. What I am finding is that a waterfall implementation of ADDIE feels structured and safe, but sometimes can be limiting. Creating good learning can be more of an art than a science. So for me thinking of developing learning in an assembly line method seems a bit awkward.
I’m trying to figure out why the concept of Agile speaks to me, and I think it’s because designing and implementing training (especially elearning) takes a more creative and “organic” approach. I have always worked on a team, and because of this, our solution has continued to evolve as we tweaked our ideas together. Agile promotes early and continuous communication with the client, as well as multiple iterations of the product.

This is not unlike an artist commissioned to design a piece of public art (I thank Ethan Edwards for this example). She might start out with a text-based description of the project but without at least a rough sketch or a model, the end result could look very different than the agreed upon idea. This is when rapid prototyping comes in–especially in elearning design. Nowadays, with the visual nature of learning, signing off on a text-based document is like agreeing to marry your spouse after reading his profile–he sounds great, but does he really know how to disco?
*Quote from Leveraging Agile Methodologies in the Learning and Development Function, presented by Diane Tiger and Karen Hart from Vanguard. Thank you for an inspiring introduction to Agile
*Also thanking Amy Groves and Connie Cassarino from IBM for their great workshop, Leverage Points for Targeting the Desired Results: Are you ready for Agile Learning Design? This highlighted rapid prototyping in Agile

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